Inside No. 9 (2014) s04e02 Episode Script

Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room

1 I wondered if you were going to turn up.
Sorry, Tommy.
You know what I'm like with time.
It's always half past my left freckle.
What's all this? I just wanted to get a few extra bits and pieces.
I thought, if we had some funny props, that it might inspire us.
You know, like we used to, back in the day.
Novelty items and whatnot.
This was such a bad idea.
It's just, I had to get rid of a lot of the old props.
I kept them for years, all boxed up in my mother's back bedroom, but then she passed and I had to chuck them all in an old skip.
Hey, that could be a bit, couldn't it? What do people do with their old skips? Where do they dump them? Sorry.
Sorry, I'm babbling.
It's good to see you, Tommy.
People call me Thomas now.
I haven't been Tommy for 30 years.
Well, you look well.
What do we do? Do we hug, shake hands, rub noses? Let's just get on with it, shall we? I haven't got long.
What do you want to do first? Shall we try the interview sketch? "Ease ourselves in gently," as the bishop said to the choirboy? If you wish, yes.
I hope I remember it all.
I think I have it.
I listen to the albums from time to time.
I still have VHSs of all the telly stuff, but I can't play 'em.
Did you ever hear anything back from those lads who wanted to bring out a DVD? - No.
Are you ready? - One sec.
- And no looking out at the audience.
- What do you mean? You know what I mean.
You always used to do it.
Mugging to the front row.
- No, I never.
- You did! Especially if I had a funny line.
You'd look out and take it, as if you'd earned the laugh.
- Pisses me off.
- I don't think I do that.
Right, well, next time you do it, - I'll click my fingers and you'll see, all right? - OK, fine.
- Good to see you, too.
- Start.
Come in.
I'm here for the interview.
Nah, you're all right.
I've got some at home.
No, no, I mean would you like to sit down? Oh, yes.
Thank you.
So, you found us all right? Yes.
Your map was extremely comprehensive.
Like your education, I see.
All right, you don't have to do it every time.
I do.
My laugh.
So, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Mr Kirk.
Och, Mr Kirk.
Is that a wee Scots name, Jimmy? No, I don't think so.
As a matter of fact, my father was born in Ireland.
The Emerald Isle.
They've got leprechauns and Guinness, to be sure, to be sure.
So, the company is based in Leeds Nay, lad! Ee, bah gum and ecky thump! - .
Working closely with - Harry Ramsden's! Best chips in th'all of Yorkshire.
The Sony Corporation Ah, so, number one son.
Exporting to India Cor blimey, mister! 10,000 apologies.
- .
Via Buckingham.
- Oh, I say! - How terribly, terribly posh.
- We have an office in Moscow Vodka, comrade! - A branch in London - Lovely jubbly.
And we're expanding into Madagascar.
Really? How interesting.
Look, would you concentrate, please? I'm looking for a serious candidate to fill this position.
- Well, I did go to university.
- Really? Where did you study? - Cambridge.
- When can you start? Boom! It's a belter, that.
Still works, doesn't it? You won't be able to do any of that ending.
What do you mean? - Can't do Chinese and Asian voices any more.
- Why? Because, Len, it is what is known as racist.
Oh, give over! - That's the joke.
- What's the joke? What are you inviting people to laugh at, exactly? JustA man doing all daft voices.
We did it in our first series.
We only had one series, remember? Yeah, but still, it's been on telly.
Nobody complained.
Well, things have changed.
That was then.
All right, what about Goodness Gracious Me? They were all Asian, Len.
It's like Jackie Mason telling Jew jokes or Richard Pryor doing black material.
You're only allowed to take the piss out of your own tribe.
I don't think you should be calling them a tribe, Tommy.
That IS racialist.
Look, we can't do this sketch, all right? - So, can we not do Ching Chong Chinaman? - No.
In fact, I don't think we should be doing this at all.
I've made a mistake.
I'm going.
Oh, no.
Tommy, please don't go.
I haven't seen you in 30 years.
Let's at least give it a chance.
♪If you're going to cry♪ ♪Cry tears of laughter♪ ♪A smile takes much less effort than a frown.
♪ Hey, Tommy, I've just finished my jigsaw! Oh, was it difficult? Well, it said three to five years on the box.
Only took me six months.
- You know I live in France now? - Yeah.
Our Leanne said she'd read a piece about you in the Standard.
- You do computers, don't you? - Digital marketing.
Got my own company, Angry Tomato.
15 offices worldwide.
100 people working under me.
Does it not tickle? I've moved on, Len.
All this Cheese & Crackers stuff You know I employ someone to take down those YouTube clips? - No! - Course I do.
I can't afford to go into a meeting with the HSBC and someone's found me as Tina Turner with tights on my head and ping-pong balls for eyes.
It's good publicity, that YouTube, you know.
My nephews are showing me.
You can get everything on it.
I know you can, Len, and it's an embarrassment to me.
I see.
Do you want a cup of tea? Is there any peppermint? Oh, forget it.
I'll just have builder's.
Your Leanne's grown up into a lovely young girl.
Oh, hasn't she? A right bobby-dazzler.
When she wrote to me and asked me about doing this gig, I was Well, you won't be surprised to learn I was unenthusiastic, to say the least.
I know, Tommy.
You remember that Morecambe and Wise interview when they were asked, "What would you have been if you hadn't been comedians?" And Eric said, "Mike and Bernie Winters"? Yeah.
Funny line.
Well, we weren't even Mike and Bernie Winters.
We weren't that good.
- No, I'm not having that, Tommy.
- It's true.
We came up in the mid-'80s, arse end of variety.
Got lucky with one series on Anglia Television.
It was more than that.
What about all the live stuff? Ten nights at Leeds City Varieties.
Top of the bill with Mick Miller, Bobby Knutt and The Grumbleweeds, you can't get better than that.
It's hardly the Rat Pack, is it, Len? So, why have you come, then? How could I not? Plus, you still owe me 25 quid.
What for? Bernie Clifton's dressing room.
Well, there you go.
You've just proved you don't need me.
- You're funny on your own.
- Of course I need you! You can't have Crackers without the Cheese.
That's another thing.
I hate that stupid name.
I always did.
But someone had already registered Cheese & Onion.
I told you! Why did it have to be Cheese and anything? It's so babyish.
- And it's not funny.
- Well, I think it's funny.
It's too generic.
First rule of comedy - be specific.
You never say biscuit.
You say Garibaldi.
All right, Ted Bovis! If we do this - if - I want us to use our real names.
- But then no-one'll know who we are.
- Correct.
All right, fine.
I'll tell our Leanne to have us billed as Shelby & Drake if that's what you want.
Why Shelby & Drake? Why not Drake & Shelby? I don't know.
It just sounds better.
It's the music of it.
- Drake & Shelby goes down.
- What? Shelby & Drake! Da-da-da-da! Drake & Shelby.
You see? It goes down.
Only if you do it like that.
You could do Drake & Shelby! Da-da-da-da! All right, fine.
It's not a bother.
Either way works.
I'm just glad we're doing it again.
Though I will have to tell that researcher on Britain's Got Talent - cos if we change the name - What? Oh, it's nothing.
I just put in an application form.
- For Britain's Got Talent? - Yeah.
It's all back now - you know, variety.
- Massive viewing figures.
- I can't believe On what planet did you think I would humiliate myself by appearing on that programmewith you? Well, I don't remember you being so fussy when Blankety Blank came knocking.
- I told you, they wouldn't have us both on.
- Oh, really? Yes, I tried, but they went with Lorraine Chase instead.
I'd have killed in that bottom middle seat.
That was the place to be.
All the great clowns sat there - - Everett, Starr, Doddy.
- That is not the point.
I agreed to come back and do one last gig to an invited audience, and I only said yes because your daughter wrote and told me that What? That things haven't been great for you the last few years.
What do you mean? What did she tell you? - Never mind.
- No, go on.
I want to know what she said.
Cheese & Crackers are not doing Britain's Got Talent.
But Drake & Shelby might, yeah? Let's rehearse the vent sketch.
You haven't gone, have you? No.
I'm still here.
I won't be able to lift you out.
I've got this hiatus hernia.
Oh, sure.
My knees are gone anyway.
We'll figure it out.
So, boys and girls, this is Vincent.
- Say hello, Vincent.
- Hello, Vincent.
What are your first impressions? Sorry, I don't do impressions.
No, no, I mean what do you hope to get out of this school? All the TVs and video recorders! Yeah, I thought, there, Tommy, we could update it and say computers instead.
Yeah, whatever.
OK, Vincent, so, we'll give you a quick test.
How's your grammar? She's very well, thank you.
How's yours? No, no, I mean your English grammar.
Where would you put a colon? Up your bum! - What? - Nothing.
Carry on.
So, let's move onto maths.
If a farmer has 12 cows and 18 chickens, Foot-and-mouth disease.
- History.
Where was the Magna Carta signed? - At the bottom! Geography.
Where are the Andes? At the end of your armies! Jesus Christ! We can't do this, Len.
- No, no, carry on.
- I can't.
I can't bear it.
What's wrong? Do you think punk rockers might be dated now? Of course they are! They were dated in 1984! This played to silence on Crackerjack, if you remember.
Janette Krankie wouldn't look us in the eye.
That's cos she's only 4ft.
No, it's because it's poor.
We need better material.
We needed it then.
We certainly need it now.
Just do the last bit - the drink bit.
You see? It's a cracking ending, Tommy.
Though we'll have to make sure the front row are close enough.
I want to get them all with that spit take.
- Ooh, yeah, that's a cheap laugh, Len.
- Oh, come on.
A laugh's a laugh however you word it.
Yeah, for you, maybe.
You know what your problem is? You've lost your sparkle.
You've got no joy in you any more.
You're like a shark.
You've got dead, black eyes.
All this corporate stuff you've been doing, this Angry Pineapple, it's sucked the life out of you.
- Tomato.
- What? It's Angry Tomato.
And I'm sorry I'm no fun any more, but I'm a different person now.
You were no fun then.
You've always been miserable.
That's why it all dried up for us.
People could sense it.
You killed Cheese & Crackers, Tommy.
I'm sorry, but it has to be said.
You weren't always like this.
Remember when we first started out, back in the day? We used to cry with laughter at every little thing.
Yeah, well, the joke worn thin, didn't it? - I'm going for a ciggie.
Do you? - No.
I stopped 20 years ago.
So should you.
- Looks like it's going to rain.
- What's going on, Len? - What's all this? - Nothing.
They're justprops.
I thought we could have a play, like I said.
What were you thinking for these? Sweeney Todd gets diarrhoea? No, but it's a good thought.
- Call it Sweeney Turd, boom, we're off.
- Len.
Are you? I can't believe I'm saying this.
You're homeless, aren't you? Well, our Leanne's got the baby now, and I have to be down here for voice-over work.
When did you last do voice-over? It was a while back, I grant you.
I think it was for Tudor Crisps.
Why didn't you tell me? I didn't want you to be jealous.
Not about the crisps.
About being homeless.
How has that happened? Don't know.
It just sort of crept up on me.
Missed a few payments.
Next thing I know, there's a sign on the door, all the locks have changed.
I had 15 minutes to grab what I could.
- So, where are you actually staying now? - Here and there.
Few nights at Leanne's.
One or two other spots I've found.
I wish you'd told me sooner.
I could have helped you.
I don't want your money, Tommy.
I never did.
I just want you by my side.
One last serving of Cheese & Crackers.
All right.
What do you want to do next? Well, I thought we could have a go at One Man Went To Mow.
You know, with all the quickfire impressions.
- But we can't do it now.
- Well, we could if we practised.
No, we can't do it cos they're all Yewtree.
They're not, are they? Oh, God, you're right! - He's not Yewtree, is he? - Not yet, but he will be.
We could still do all the cartoon ones.
Ooh! Ooh! Mr Peevly! Mr Peevly! - Do you think people still remember the Hair Bear Bunch? - Yes! People love remembering things that happened in the '70s.
This lot don't.
- When I last did panto - In 1992.
Carry on.
When I last did panto, I did them all Hong Kong Phooey, Dick Dastardly, Mary, Mungo And Midge.
What did you do for Mary, Mungo And Midge? I just watched the lift go down.
Well, that must have been a fun evening.
Well, it wasn't easy being one ugly sister.
All right, but shouldn't we be thinking of something more contemporary? - Who makes you laugh? - Eh? What current stuff do you watch that makes you laugh? I've always admired that young lad Joe Pasquale.
He's 56! He's about as current as Kajagoogoo.
Funny bones, though.
And he's a brilliant prop comic.
But if you still want to make it in this game, you've got to follow what the rules are now.
With my business head on, I'd be looking at current trends, gaps in the market.
- At the moment, we're an outdated model.
- It's heritage comedy.
It's magic, what we do.
- It's not a business.
- It is a business, Len.
Show business.
And that's what you failed to grasp, and that's why What? - Nothing.
- No, tell me.
It's obviously been on your mind for 30 years.
All right.
Bernie Clifton's dressing room.
What about Bernie Clifton's dressing room? - You don't remember? - No.
And that is my point.
Let's do Brown Bottles.
♪Ten brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪Ten brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ ♪There'll be nine brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪Nine brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ Come on, accidentally fall! I haven't finished this one yet! ♪There'll be eight brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪Eight brown bottles sitting♪ You're not supposed to drink 'em! ♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ ♪There'll be seven brown, six brown bottles♪ ♪Sitting on the wall♪ ♪Five brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ Sorry about that! ♪There'll be four brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪Four brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ - What are you doing? - Elf and safety! ♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ ♪There'll be three brown♪ -bottles sitting on the wall - I need a wee! ♪Three brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ ♪And if one brown bottle♪ Not there! ♪Should accidentally fall♪ ♪There'll be two brown bottles sitting on the wall♪ -Two brown bottles sitting on the wall - Love you, Tommy.
♪And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall♪ ♪There'll be one brown bottle sitting on the wall♪ Tommy Drake, ladies and gentlemen! He's so mean, you'd need a spanner to get 50p out of his hand.
- Give us a kiss! -There'll be no more bottles And no more wall.
Takes it out of you, that one.
It's funny, though.
So, you don't remember Bernie Clifton's dressing room? No, I don't.
Why do you have to keep bringing that up? We were on stage, Glasgow Pavilion, doing Brown Bottles.
You walked off to get the broom.
You never came back.
You left me standing there, humiliated, vamping for ten minutes while the audience started slow handclapping, people shouting, "Where's the funny one?" I walked off to find you in Bernie Clifton's dressing room lying on the floor, choking in your own vomit.
Probably cos I'd just necked seven bottles of beer in three minutes.
Yeah, and how many times a week did you do that? I can't remember.
Of course you can't remember.
I'm surprised you remember anything from '83 to '87, the amount you drank.
- What are you saying? - You nearly died, Len! You're an alcoholic.
And Bernie Clifton's dressing room was the last straw.
He had to destroy that ostrich, you know.
No, he didn't.
He did.
25 quid, I had to give him, which I never saw back.
Well, it's very stressful, going out on stage every night, making people laugh.
You don't need to tell me that.
How would you know, Thomas? I was the one on the front foot driving it.
You just stood there like a fucking pillar box.
Oh, and that's why you were drunk for ten years, is it? - Oh, don't exaggerate.
- You said I killed Cheese & Crackers Because I was miserable? Why do you think they wouldn't have you on Blankety Blank, why we died a death on Crackerjack? It was you.
You were always pissed.
I loved performing.
I loved being on stage every night.
- Nothing gave me more joy.
- So, why did you leave it all, then? To save you.
You turned into a monster after six half-hours on Anglia.
I was frightened, if we got any bigger You were killing yourself, so I walked away.
But you came back, didn't you? Yes! And I wish I'd never bothered! Sorry, am I interrupting? No.
Justgoing through my speech.
- Hard to find the right words.
- I'm sure you'll be fine.
- Aw, have you been looking through my dad's stuff? - Yeah.
Yeah, brought back a lot of memories.
- He was a funny man.
- He was.
- Are there many people here? - Quite a few, yeah.
Syd Little, a couple of Nolans.
- Brought you the order of service.
- Ooh, thanks.
You'll be on after Janette Krankie, so if you just give her a moment to move her box Oh, yeah.
My dad wanted it to be a celebration.
One last gig to an invited audience.
As long as they don't expect me to be funny.
Oh, no, I don't think anyone's expecting that.
Thanks for doing it, though.
I know you and my dad had unresolved business.
We did, but, erm It's too late now.
Like I said earlier, just imagine he's here with you in the room.
You will come to the do after, won't you, for a drink and a snack? We're, erm, having cheese and crackers.
Well, quite right, too.
we're going to be playing Tears Of Laughter when they bring him in, just so you're prepared.
I almost forgot.
He wanted you to have this.
He was very insistent.
He said you'd know what it was about.
Thank you, old pal.
♪It's almost time to say goodbye, ta-ta and fare-thee-well♪ ♪It's almost time to bring the curtain down♪ ♪I'll say adieu♪ - To me? - To you.
♪So long, it has been swell♪ ♪But don't you cry the tears of a clown♪ ♪If you're going to cry♪ ♪Cry tears of laughter♪ ♪A smile takes much less effort than a frown♪ ♪So, let's have one more joke and raise the rafters♪ ♪Cos laughter's the best medicine in town♪ Doctor! Doctor! I keep feeling like a woman who delivers babies.
Ooh, don't worry.
It's just a midwife crisis.
♪Yes, if you're going to cry♪ ♪Cry tears of laughter♪ ♪Your funny bone can never break in two♪ ♪Misery might let you win a BAFTA♪ ♪But laughter is my memory of you♪ There are three types of people in this world - - those that can count and those that can't.
- Terrible! ♪Laughter is my memory of you♪ Do you know, Tommy, I've spent the last four years looking for my mother-in-law's killer, but no-one will do it! ♪Yes, laughter is my memory of♪ ♪You!♪
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